Monastic Wales.

Remnants of Pembroke (Monkton) Priory

The priory church was ruinous by the nineteenth century and restoration work was undertaken. Much of what now stands and serves as the parish church of St Nicholas represents the nineteenth-century rebuilding of the church rather than the original design. Medieval fabric was incorporated within the modern rebuilding and includes a twelfth-century nave and a decorated, fourteenth-century choir. The medieval church was evidently long and narrow, extending over fifty metres but less than ten metres wide. The church was split between the monks, who occupied the east end, and the parishioners who used the nave; a stone screen likely separated the two. It seems that a prior’s chapel was situated to the east of the north flank of the nave, and this suggests a rather complex layout. The exterior of the north wall of the nave is now heavily buttressed but two twelfth-century windows indicate that the later church was rebuilt within the line of the original wall.

The cloister and its associated buildings were seemingly north-facing, but no remains have survived. It is thought that the modern farmhouse occupies the site of the former prior’s house; it retains a medieval vaulted ground floor room. Monkton Old Hall dates from the Middle Ages, perhaps to the thirteenth or fourteenth century, and may have been the priory’s guesthouse [hospitum] and gatehouse. It was significantly restored in the late nineteenth / early twentieth century but descriptions and depictions of it before this time suggest that it comprised two halls, one above the other, with a chamber to the side and a projecting kitchen block. Medieval fabric from other buildings associated with the priory are seemingly incorporated in outbuildings belonging to the modern farm. Remains of what may have been the dovecot or perhaps a windmill survive and also a well which may have been a conduit house. There is also a medieval churchyard cross. [1]

[1] See the various entries in the Coflein database and Cooper, Abbeys and Priories, pp. 71-2.

Monastic sites related to this article

Pembroke, Pembrokeshire(Priory)